Trump: GOP senators who don’t embrace him will ‘lose their elections’
President Trump on Thursday warned that GOP Senate candidates who don’t fully embrace him will lose their elections, a warning shot to some moderates who have kept their distance from the president.
Trump called into Maria Bartiromo’s show on Fox Business Network, where he predicted Republicans would take back control of the House despite little polling to support that argument. But he acknowledged it may be more difficult for the GOP to maintain its slim majority in the Senate.
“We’re fighting very hard in the Senate. I’ll be honest, the Senate is tough,” Trump said. “We have a couple of people that aren’t as supportive of Trump as they should be, and those people are going to lose their elections.”
“The ones that don’t support, and I’m just talking, take a look … you have a few people that want to be cute, and those people are going to lose their elections,” Trump added. “And that’s a problem for the Senate.”
The president did not offer specific names of Republicans he felt were insufficiently supportive of him. But there are a number of GOP senators in tough reelection bids, including Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).
Collins, in particular, has maintained her distance from Trump, at times criticizing the president’s behavior and rhetoric and saying she won’t campaign against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
The Washington Post first reported that Ernst and Sen. David Perdue’s (R-Ga.) first batch of campaign ads featured no mention of the Trump, whose approval rating as president has rarely risen about the low 40 percent range and whose handling of the coronavirus pandemic has gotten even lower marks.
The president’s comments on Thursday echoed his attacks on House candidates who lost their seats in the 2018 midterms, costing the GOP its majority. During a press conference the day after the vote, Trump called out defeated lawmakers by name and accused them of failing to campaign with him.